A well-played game can unravel quickly, and Clemson found itself on the right side of that Friday in a 6-4 ACC-opening victory over N.C. State.
The Tigers scored an early unearned run after a fielding error, but N.C. State starter Cory Wilder (1-3) recovered to allow two hits over five-plus innings, adding a career-high eight strikeouts.
The turn came in situational relief, where N.C. State lefty Will Gilbert loaded the bases with two out - and righty reliever Jon Olczak unloaded them in an odd-fashion.
It followed sophomore catcher Andrew Knizner dropping a tricky foul pop-up behind the plate. Olczak’s next two deliveries were wild, scoring one on the first and two on the second to give Clemson a 4-0 edge. Olzcak walked the next two batters before freshman second baseman Chase Pinder knocked through an RBI single to left field.
A third Olczak wild pitch of the frame completed the Clemson rally, which was enough for the win. Olczak threw four of the Wolfpacks’ five wild pitches.
The Tigers (8-4) won a fifth contest in six away from Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Few games in Matthew Crownover’s career has he failed to give Clemson a good chance at a win. On the ACC road, he’s been especially good and that continued in game one at N.C. State (7-4).
The ace left-hander (3-0) pitched a fifth-consecutive road quality start, carrying a no-hitter for 32/3 innings.
He allowed two hits in 27 batters faced, stranding both Wolfpack runners to reach second base (0-2 with runners in scoring position; 0-for-7 hitting with runners on).
Crownover’s lone blemish came by way of a first-pitch shot over the left field fence from N.C. State right fielder Jake Armstrong. Crownover struck out seven.
The eighth inning appeared to be Clemson’s unraveling – freshman reliever Paul Campbell giving up a three-run homer to right field. Campbell recovered to register a strikeout to end the threat. Sophomore right-hander Drew Moyer picked up his second save of the season in the ninth.
Friday’s matchup featured six different Tigers crossing the plate.
|Clemson ab||r||h||rbi||NC Stateab||r||h||rbi|
|Slaton cf||4||1||0||0||Derage cf||4||0||0||0|
|Rohlman lf||5||0||0||0||Willard ss||3||0||0||0|
|Krieger dh||3||1||0||0||McKthn ss||1||0||0||0|
|Duggar rf||4||1||1||1||Rledge 2b||3||1||0||0|
|Okey c||3||1||1||0||Kizner c/1b||4||1||2||0|
|Wilson 3b||3||1||0||0||Palro 1b/lf||4||1||1||3|
|Pinder 2b||3||0||2||1||Artrong rf||2||1||1||1|
|Cox 1b||4||0||1||0||Sherd dh/c||3||0||0||0|
|White ss||3||1||1||0||DeJuneas lf||2||0||0||0|